TTC breaks ground on new Nursing and Science Building

PHOTO BY MIC SMITH TTC President Mary Thornley (center) is pictured with nursing students on the site of the future Nursing and Science Building on the college’s Main Campus in North Charleston.

Trident Technical College recently broke ground on a new $30 million Nursing and Science Building on the college’s Main Campus in North Charleston.

More than 300 people helped the college celebrate the event, including TTC students and faculty, county council members, legislators and other elected officials.

Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties are supporting construction of the 90,000-square-foot building, with each county providing a proportional share of the funding: Charleston County — $18 million; Berkeley County — $7.5 million; and Dorchester County — $4.5 million.

“We are very grateful for the support we have received from our county councils,” said TTC President Mary Thornley. “TTC is the largest provider of nursing education in the Lowcountry and the only provider of training for many critical health care fields. This investment will reap great benefits for our community as our population continues to grow and the demand for health care workers increases.”

The new building will house TTC’s three Nursing programs and provide classroom and lab space for science classes such as microbiology, and anatomy and physiology. Currently the Nursing programs and 10 of the college’s 13 Health Science programs are housed in a 54,400-square-foot building constructed in 1989, when the college’s enrollment was only 5,728. Today the college has an enrollment of close to 17,000 students, making it the second largest institution of higher education in the state based on undergraduate enrollment.

Lack of space has meant waiting lists for Nursing and popular Health Science programs.

“I am one of the many nursing students who had to wait two years for entry into the nursing program,” said Student Nurses Association President Shay Jackson, who spoke at the ground-breaking ceremony. “This new Nursing and Science Building will give career opportunities and provide meaningful jobs to hundreds of nurses who will work in hospitals, nursing homes, doctor’s offices, public schools and many other locations in our region.”

Moving the Nursing programs into a new building will free up space in the current building that will enable expansion of other health care programs such as Pharmacy Technician and Respiratory Care.

LS3P Associates designed the building, and China Construction America of South Carolina Inc. recently received the construction contract through the state bidding process. Construction is expected to be completed in fall 2013 and classes will be held in the building starting in January 2014. The building will feature classrooms, science labs, a 291-seat divisible tiered classroom, a Nursing Resource Center and a high-tech patient simulation lab.